Hello Mania, My Old Friend!

Hello to talking at 90 miles an hour. Hello to not being able to sit still, even when I’m sitting still (wtf? Yeah I know!!). Hello to being super-productive. Hello to feeling great. Not just great in fact, absolutely amazing. Hello to the fantastic sex (not that it isn’t fantastic anyway, but those who understand know what I mean). All pretty harmless stuff, right?

Well, this means also hello to pressured speech. Hello to prolonged periods of insomnia (hence writing this post at 3.20am). Hello to chaotic, disorganised and fast changing thoughts. Hello to starting about 50 different things at once, and finishing none of them, so the productivity then becomes chaos. Hello to being on the go non-stop, so much so, that my brain couldn’t care less about the physical pain I am in, no matter how much physical pain I am in, I just keep going beyond my normal capabilities. Hello to struggling to keep my big gob shut, and annoying every single person around me. Hello to the risk of blowing ALL my money and have sweet F.A. to show for it. Hello to the risk of hypersexuality and the risks that come with that (I was almost caught having sex in a public place just last night). Hello to delusions, paranoia and hallucinations (I’m not there yet, well, I’ve found myself coming out with some very paranoid talk, but I have realised after, so touch wood, I can keep check on that with the help of the hubby).

All of this stuff isn’t even a full list of what can and does happen for me, and yet still those in the mental health profession still do not hear me when I say how I suffer. I’m currently sat watching a program on the TV about the NHS and how poor services are for our mental health, and how so many people are failed by these services. It gives me peace of mind. I have no issues when someone makes an attempt to invalidate my opinion. It can be frustrating, but it would be frustrating to anyone to feel that they aren’t being listened too. However, on the many occasions that I have spoken my mind to our local mental health services, and how I feel that, while they have done good for some people, I still feel that they have failed so many people, myself included, and they just shoot me down with their seemingly favourite line, “well that is your opinion”. Yes it is my opinion, but I am aware that it is a widely shared opinion, and that is fact!

The fact that I am still trying to fight misdiagnosis, and my medical notes being so full of confusion throughout all of my life is ridiculous in my mind. I have had something happen yesterday that seemed positive, where I saw my psychiatrist and finally admitted that I didn’t think that I needed my meds, and had actually taken myself off them some time before I had even met him. He saw this as a good thing in the sense that I am not reliant on medication, which somehow the previous psychiatrist has come to the conclusion that I was so pre-occupied with meds that I was refusing therapy treatment and this proves to the new one that I am being honest that they had got me wrong completely, as I hated my medication and didn’t think it was good for me at all. The good thing that came from that, is that the new psychiatrist had asked the community mental health team in my area to give me much needed extra support previously and they denied it, but now he has grounds to fight my corner even more, as he says that essentially I am now not getting any treatment, and I need some form of treatment. We shall see how that goes.

I will sign off now, otherwise I will be sat here rambling away all night, and if I don’t try and get some sleep then the hubby will be telling me off when he asks how much sleep I got in a few hours time.

Night night world (or morning, it is 4.10am after all).

H x

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Normality Exists!

I am on the road to recovery! It may be temporary recovery, but it’s recovery all the same. Brilliant. Finally I am starting to feel a little bit like the Holly we all know and love. Well, some of us know and love anyway. Just like anyone else I have people that really don’t like me that much. Some of it justified, most of it, not. Regardless, normality, whatever that means, is almost here.

Strangely though, I do believe that normal exists! (Insert all the ‘she’s nuts, she just as good as asked what normal is’ comments here.) I know, I know it doesn’t really make sense. However, I do still believe in normality.

You see, in my humble opinion, I see that normality is an individual thing. What is normal to me, might be completely abnormal to you. It’s all about perspective.

For instance, my highs and my lows are actually normal to me. It’s something that I’ve lived for most of my life. Since I was a teenager in fact. The I have a separate kind of normal in between those highs and lows, where I experience my life on a level, with normal reactions to hardships, normal reactions to joyful situations, normal reactions to everyday things in everyday life.

My normal life, consists of studying, writing, raising my kids and guiding them so that they can become the people they can be, the teaching of dealing with mental illness so that they understand that sometimes mum isn’t well, and trying to be the best partner I can be.

Normal for some people, is going out, working a 60 hour work week, with no social life. Normal for other people consists of travelling the world, or living their dreams on screen for the world to see, or being on the road touring with a band. Normal for some means putting on their leathers, jumping on a motorcycle and riding for hours to escape the stress of everyday life, or building racing cars to take out on a track and smash to pieces, or spending all day everyday in the pub drinking their body weight in alcohol.

It is absolutely a matter of perspective, and unfortunately too few people realise this, and expect every to conform the the normal stereotype. It gives me a fear of people losing their individuality.

I know only one other person that it like me, and each of my children, while so alike in some ways, are complete opposites in other ways. I love that about them. It’s the best way to be in my eyes.

So, when people talk about normality, think about what is normal for you, and forget other people’s view of normal. We were made to be individual after all.

Took a sleeping tablet and I can feel it kicking in now so tata for now.

H x

Insomnia (Part 2)

There’s something in me now, that wants to punch the man in the TV. Sorry Mr BBC News man, but you are annoying the hell out of me, and have been for the last half an hour. To be honest, I’m not sure which is worse. The English guy, in the BBC studios who is droning and not pleasant, or the American with the White House in the background, who sounds like an Englishman with a fake accent.

It’s far too confusing for this time of night! I knew that when I couldn’t keep my eye’s open this morning, and had to let myself go back to sleep, that I would have a problem when it came to sleeping tonight. Daylight slowly approaches, and the night’s sky I see several shades lighter than it had been only a couple of hours ago.

The birds are starting to chirp, and I’m starting to feel the same fears that I felt last night, that somewhere along the line tomorrow, or technically today, I will not be able to keep my eyes open, leaving me open to more insomnia, as if being poorly isn’t nearly enough to deal with.

This fascinates me though. It brings me back to the post from before, and all those facts about insomnia, and how it affects those with mental health problems.

I’m struggling to type now. I must have re-typed the last few lines about 4 times now. Maybe it’s time to day goodnight? I can learn more about the effects of this when I eventually wake up properly. For now, it’s eye’s closed tight before the skies become too light. To be honest, I only needed to get a couple of mild thoughts off the brain.

Night world.

H x

Insomnia and Mental Health.

I’m actually starting to pick up a bit. Halle-bleeding-lujah, I cry. It’s about bloody time!! After spending 7 months in the deep dark hellish pits of depression, it’s almost like a weight is lifting off my shoulders. A veil that covered my eyes is slowly rising, as my perception of my life and the world around me starts to change.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely out of the woods yet. The climb back to the top, means a climb back up a very slippery slope. The potential for me to fall straight back down the hole is still a great risk. However, I won’t focus on that. I’m determined to make it out of the pit, to be on a level again, to get a sense of being normal again, whatever that is for me.

Still, the one thing that plagues me regardless of my hopeful chances of recovery, is this damn insomnia.

What is insomnia?

According to the NHS:

Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though you’ve had enough opportunity to sleep.

Most people experience sleeping problems at some point in their life. It’s thought that a third of people in the UK have episodes of insomnia. It tends to be more common in women and more likely to occur with age.

It’s difficult to define what normal sleep is because everyone is different. Your age, lifestyle, environment and diet all play a part in influencing the amount of sleep you need.

The most common symptoms of insomnia are:

  • difficulty falling asleep
  • waking up during the night
  • waking up early in the morning
  • feeling irritable and tired and finding it difficult to function during the day

What causes insomnia?

Stress and anxiety are common causes of insomnia.

It is also possible to develop insomnia as a result of conditions such as depressionschizophrenia or asthma.

In some cases, taking certain medication or misusing alcohol or drugs can also cause insomnia.

Read more about the causes of insomnia.

Self-help

There are a number of things you can do to help you get to sleep such as:

  • avoiding caffeine later in the day
  • avoiding heavy meals late at night
  • setting regular times to wake up
  • using thick curtains or blinds, an eye mask and earplugs to stop you being woken up by light and noise

These measures are often referred to as ‘good sleep hygiene‘.

Relaxation can also help. Try taking a warm bath an hour before you go to bed or listening to calming music.

Read more self-help tips for insomnia.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if a lack of sleep is affecting your daily life and you feel that it’s causing a problem.

Fatigue due to insomnia can affect your mood and create problems with personal relationships and in the workplace.

Keeping a sleep diary may help you and your GP gain a better understanding of your sleep patterns.

Treating insomnia

The first step in treating insomnia is to identify and treat any underlying health conditions, such as anxiety, that may be causing your sleep problems.

Your GP will probably discuss the self-help measures for insomnia with you (see above) which may help to improve your sleep.

In some cases, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may be recommended. It’s is a type of talking therapy which may be useful in helping you avoid thoughts and behaviours that are affecting your sleep.

Sleeping tablets are a treatment of last resort and are often only used in the short-term with the smallest possible dose. Although they can sometimes relieve the symptoms of insomnia, they don’t treat the cause. Therefore, if you have long-term insomnia, it’s unlikely that sleeping tablets will help.

This information is all courtesy of the NHS Choices page on Insomnia which can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Insomnia/Pages/Introduction.aspx

I have been one of these people that suffers with insomnia, whether I’m high, low, or normal. There are a lot of contributing factors in this, and the main one right now, is pain. What is very fortunate for me, is that, because I don’t want to risk being it what causes me to fall back into the pit.

My sleeping tablet has started kicking in now, and my eye lids keep dropping so I will say goodnight to the world.

Nighty night.

H x

The best drug of all…. (warning, soppy alert) LOVE!!

I’m considering taking a sleeping tablet to get to sleep. If I leave it much later than this, I will struggle to get up in the morning. There are various different things affect my ability to sleep.

Yes, my depressive phase is very much still active, and that black dog has shown absolutely no signs of a retreat anytime soon. Granted, I must be feeling slightly better, because my suicidal urges are not as strong as they have been recently. But then 7 months is a long time to be on a downer.

Now another contributing factor, although I’m not a clingy sort of person, the fact that the hubby is away is not helping me settle at night. I’m not one of these people who cannot function without the other half, we actually get very little time together at all. It’s a miracle that our relationship is as strong as it is. But I am the sort of person that worries a lot, and I don’t particularly feel at my safest in the house on my own. Something I know a lot of women can relate to when it comes to sleeping in an empty house.

There’s actually a lot to be said for the love of a good man, and it cannot be denied, the hubby is the best of the bunch in my eyes. My perfect man. Never in my life have I come across someone so accepting of my background, my illnesses, in fact, of every single mistake and failure in my life, as well as my triumphs, and to be honest it feels good. There’s nothing to hide, nothing to make me worry that he might walk out the door if he ever found anything out.

I must admit, I suffer with extreme guilt during times of severe depression, because the hubby feels so helpless most of the time. He thinks that he isn’t helping, or worse still, that he’s making it worse for me, and what he doesn’t realise is that because he is here, and I don’t have to hide who I am from him, even at my worst, it actually helps those horrible phases. I may think at the time that he would be better off without me. He may be better off without me for all I know. That’s a question that could only ever be answered by going through it, but he doesn’t want to be without me, and I don’t want to be without him.

He is that tiny flicker of light that shines so very far away in that deep, dark, seemingly endless tunnel of depression. He’s the only one that can make me laugh, and I mean a real proper laugh, when I don’t even want to smile. He saved my life just last week, without even knowing what my intentions were.

Yes, my Mr Perfect is the ideal description. Better than any medication I have found. I hope that everyone in the world is lucky enough to find their perfect match. A week isn’t that long for him to be away, and he is in touch whenever he can get to his phone, but I do miss him.

Love truly is the best drug.

H x